Sunday, May 8, 2011

Feeding Children

People say it costs a lot to feed kids. Very true, if they're teenagers. At that stage, they need a lot of fuel because their bodies are changing so much.

But keeping young children fed and nourished is probably a lot more complicated and costly than it needs to be. I've noticed when I make a sandwich for my young granddaughters (ages three and six) that a half sandwich is plenty if I add a sliced apple and some baby carrots. Of course, usually just an hour or two later they're asking for something else, so I make it a practice to keep a sliced apple available on the counter, and popcicles in the fridge (made from unsweetened fruit juice).

Another option is to put some fresh fruit in a blender with some yogurt, milk and honey ~ along with a few ice cubes ~ to make a smoothie.

What I figured out is that grazing works better for kids ~ and for all of us, really.

Traveling around town is the car is a critical time when the food decisions often aren't the best.  A couple of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches wrapped and placed in an insulated lunch bag, and some small cartons of raisins can make a big difference in time, money and nutrition, when the other choice would be to pull into a drive through window at a fast food shop!

They key, of course, is to plan ahead. Even just a few bites of a food rich in fiber ~ like vegetables or fruit ~ along with a bit of protein from, say, a couple of peanut butter crackers can stop those mid-morning or mid-afternoon cravings and keep everyone in stride with eating healthier! 

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